One laugh to rule them all

When Sierra laughs, it’s like the perfect idea. A brilliant brainstorm, where everything else clears out and the sure answer stands right there, waving at you, asking you where you’ve been and why you’ve been hanging out with those other losers.

It’s like that first flicker of a fluorescent bulb, those tenths of seconds that lead to illumination, the pre-dawning of white light.

It’s like a good cup of coffee from a gas station, a pure surprise, the best thing that could possibly happen to the 85 cents you just scrounged out of the glove compartment.

I spend nearly every day worried about something, and many of you are probably in the same boat. Not ulcer-inducing worry, but slight worry, about inconsequential things, and sometimes about important things, but constant, all the time.

I worry about whether Sierra is getting the right foods to eat, whether she’s going to learn her words at the right time, about the sun, about the cement, about her feet, about her hair, everything about her.

Because I’m so filled with love that I can’t help it. I want life to be perfect for her. Of course I do.

And then she laughs.

Game over. Show’s ending, folks, so head down the aisle and stop worrying about the credits. When Sierra laughs, it’s like a string has been pulled, tightening the knot inside my heart. There’s nothing else I can do except make her laugh. There’s nothing more enjoyable at that point, and there’s nothing more for me to do.

The worry stops. I turn her over, start tickling, and give myself an extra helping of therapy.

That’s all I should be doing now. No worry. No fatigue. No anticipation. No annoyance.

Just laughter.

This was lovingly handwritten on July 22nd, 2008